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4 Smart Tactics For Advanced Google Ads Audience Targeting

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4 Smart Tactics For Advanced Google Ads Audience Targeting

Gone are the days of solely relying on keywords to drive your PPC success.

With the relaxed keyword match types, the use of audiences in Google Ads has sophisticated tenfold.

Utilizing audience targeting is no longer an option for campaigns; it should be part of your overall campaign strategy.

Here, you’ll learn four advanced audience targeting tactics for refining your PPC targeting to leverage budget and maximize return on ad spend (ROAS).

1. Smarter Use Of Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSAs)

Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) allow you to customize your search ad campaigns based on the user behavior of previous website visitors, and tailor your bids/targeting options around these users when they’re searching on Google.

Example: Target people who spend over your average purchase revenue when searching for competitor brands.

This tactic will allow you to target and display ads to users that have generated a high conversion value for you historically whenever they are searching for one of your competitors on Google search, which could help you avoid losing customers to your paid competitors.

For example, an online grocery retailer could identify shoppers who spend over their average order value each week.

In this scenario, the advertiser could set up a separate campaign to target and bid on competitor terms but use RLSAs so that ads are only served whenever users within the list are searching.

This is a great way of ensuring your budget is only spent on retaining profitable customers.

If you’d like to apply this tactic to your account, you’ll first need to find the average purchase revenue per user being reported in your Google Analytics account by navigating to Monetization > Overview:

Screenshot by author, March 2022

Once you’ve found the average order value figure you’ll be able to create an audience list using the audience builder via Configure > Audiences in Google Analytics:

4 Smart Tactics For Advanced Google Ads Audience TargetingScreenshot by author, March 2022

You can set the event parameters and add any conditions:

4 Smart Tactics For Advanced Google Ads Audience TargetingScreenshot by author, March 2022

This tactic is particularly effective in industries where consumers aren’t loyal and may often flick between different retailers for the best deal (e.g., in grocery retail).

By applying this list you could tailor your ad copy and advertise loyalty discounts to these customers to prevent them from deserting your brand for a competitor:

Example of how to message your RLSA audiences in Google Ads.Screenshot by author, March 2022

2. Combining Social Audiences With RLSAs

With more than 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook has no rival when it comes to the enormity of its audience.

While Facebook targeting can be beneficial to reach the masses, another main benefit Facebook offers lies in the potential granularity with which you can target Facebook’s users.

Unlike Google Ads, Facebook has information on what users actually “Like” or follow, and in-depth data from users’ personal profiles.

The benefits of using social ads alongside search campaigns can be huge.

For example, a recent case study from Facebook showed that the brand Bombas saw a 27-point lift in ad recall for evergreen campaigns when utilizing Custom Audience targeting.

Despite this, I still encounter tons of brands whose approach to advertising on both Facebook and Google is unaligned, and therefore they fail to share insights gained from one platform to another to maximize success.

Example: Use Facebook to uncover new potential buyers and then target these people on search to increase the likelihood of them converting.

Facebook is one of the best platforms for expanding your reach and identifying new users who aren’t actively looking for your products or services right now.

By tagging the ads you run on Facebook targeting these new audience segments, you will later be able to target ads at these users when they search Google using top-of-the-funnel keywords, increasing the likelihood of those Facebook clicks turning into new customers.

To do this, you would first need to create a new campaign on Facebook designed to target new potential customers you aren’t already targeting with your search ads (exclude existing website visitors and mailing list members):

Target new potential customers you aren't already targeting with your search ads.Screenshot by author, March 2022

By tagging the resulting Facebook campaign with UTM tags, any clicks from this audience will be recorded in Google Analytics under the campaign name you have set.

You’ll then be able to create an audience list in Google Analytics which consists of traffic from this particular Facebook campaign:

4 Smart Tactics For Advanced Google Ads Audience TargetingScreenshot by author, March 2022

Remember, like any audience list you create, the list must contain at least 1,000 members before being eligible for use on Google search.

Once you’ve populated your audience list with enough traffic from Facebook, create a search campaign on Google Ads which includes only top of the funnel keywords such as informational queries related to the product/service you offer (they need to be top of the funnel because this audience isn’t specifically searching for your product/service).

Finally, apply the remarketing list to the ad groups created in your search campaign, choosing the target and bid setting, so that the search ads only show to users who are from your list of new potential customers uncovered on Facebook.

I strongly recommend this tactic if you feel like you have exhausted current demand on Google search in your industry, as it allows you to effectively create search demand by reaching new users and promoting consideration of your product or service.

You can also utilize this same strategy using Microsoft Ads to maximize your reach.

3. Using Custom Affinity Audiences

Google launched custom affinity audiences to give advertisers more granular control over audience targeting options on the display network.

This tackles the issue with regular Google Ads affinity audiences in that there isn’t a predefined affinity audience suitable for every business.

Custom affinity audience targeting can be set up by navigating to a Display campaign in Google Ads, clicking Targeting > Audience Segments  > Your Custom Audience Segments > New Custom  Audience.

Here you can create your own specific audience using free form interests entered as keywords and/or using URLs as a proxy for interest bundles:

Create your own specific audience using free form interests.Screenshot by author, March 2022

In this example, the custom affinity targeting has built an audience of “Garden Enthusiasts” using interests (keywords entered) and URL targeting.

You’re able to get real-time demographic insights as you’re building the audience. This can help drive further granularity to ensure you’re targeting the right people.

While custom affinity audience targeting allows for more control on the GDN, I think it’s best used for brand building.

You can take an even more granular approach to GDN targeting by layering custom affinity audiences with other forms of targeting to increase campaign efficiency.

4. Combining In-Market Segments With Remarketing

In-market audiences allow you to set up your campaigns to reach people who are further down the funnel and are more ready to make a purchase.

Google accurately categorizes users so you can target those most interested in their offerings.

Google states that you can distinguish interest from the purchaser’s intent by leveraging real-time data and a powerful classification system based on demonstrated in-market behavior.

In-market audiences can help drive incremental conversions, helping you to connect with consumers as the last step before they make a purchase decision.

To target an in-market audience segment you would need to navigate to Targeting > In-market and life events > In-market segments.

Here you will see a list of almost 500 available in-market audiences, with the option to further granulate the high-level categories (highlighted below).

Simply click the “down” arrow on each In-Market category to drill down your desired audience.

Choose from over 500 in-market audiences in Google Ads.Screenshot by author, March 2022

The real impact on conversions comes when using in-market segments in conjunction with website remarketing lists.

You can layer the in-market segments on top of your remarketing lists to increase reach while maintaining a high degree of relevancy with the aim of bolstering overall conversions.

Conclusion

Paid search keyword costs continue to rise every year. If your marketing budget doesn’t increase to keep up with the shift, you’ll need to get creative to drive new demand growth.

Many advertisers are shifting huge chunks of the budget over to other platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok, largely due to superior audience targeting options (not searcher intent) and reduced CPCs.

With this in mind and the increased use of automation within Google Ads, I think Google will be continuing to add to its options of audience targeting in a privacy-centric way.

The PPC landscape is always changing. Make sure you keep on top of the latest features as well as test some of the tips outlined above to see whether they can deliver improved paid media results for your business.

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Featured Image: Jirsak/Shutterstock



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12 Powerful Email Marketing Tips You Need to Know

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12 Powerful Email Marketing Tips You Need to Know

There is no doubt that email marketing is effective. But how many times have you sat down to begin an email marketing project and immediately felt overwhelmed?

Sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start, especially when working with a newer brand.

The good thing is that email marketing has never been easier, thanks to automation tools and innovative ways to deliver emails directly into subscribers’ inboxes.

If you don’t know where to begin or want to improve your current workflow, this article is for you.

So now, let’s look at some simple steps you can follow to ensure you’re using email marketing wisely.

Where To Begin With Email Marketing

So, you’re planning your email marketing strategy for your client. Where do you begin? Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Keep your emails short and sweet. People get tired of reading long emails, so keep yours between 60 to 200 words.
  • People love visuals, especially in email marketing, so include images of your products or services.
  • Social proof helps convince readers that your offer is legitimate and worth their time. This includes sharing links or information in your emails from experts in the industry, positive testimonials, or influencers using the brand.
  • People want to know where to go next after reading your content. And since emails are usually opened on mobile devices, you need to provide a clear CTA at the end of each email. Whether it’s to a product page or recent content produced on the website.
  • Email marketing works best when you send regular emails. But even once a week isn’t enough. Studies show that people respond better to frequent emails than infrequent ones.

Now, let’s discuss the top 12 email marketing components for your strategy:

1. Create Optimized Lead Magnets

So, how do you get people to actually subscribe to your email listing? An effective lead magnet.

A lead magnet is usually the first thing visitors see when they land on a brand’s website. It gets them to click through and read more about a brand, so it needs to be eye-catching and compelling.

And if you don’t optimize your lead magnets for conversion, a brand could lose out on potential leads.

So, how do you make sure your lead magnets convert?

Your lead magnet should grab visitors’ attention right away. That means making it interesting, unique, and relevant to the business.

For example, you can use an incentive like a freebie or discount code to entice people to take action. You could also give away a free report or ebook in exchange for their name and email address.

Your lead magnet could also be the first email they receive, which can be a part of your welcome series (which I’ll talk about briefly).

It entices the users to keep receiving emails, so they don’t immediately unsubscribe after they receive a discount code or something similar.

2. Segment Your Subscribers

You’ve probably heard the term “subscriber segmentation.” It refers to a way of grouping your subscribers into groups based on their interests and behavior so that you can send them more relevant content, offers, and other messages.

This is an integral part of email marketing because it allows you to target your audience with personalized emails.

You can also use this technique to create multiple versions of your emails, such as a welcome email, a thank you email, and a follow-up email.

Segmenting your subscribers can help build trust and long-term interest for a brand because it presents them with information or offers they actually want to receive.

3. Craft A Welcome Series 

Welcome emails are usually sent automatically to new subscribers when they sign up, purchase a product, or make an account.

When creating a welcome series, you need to consider where the customer is in their journey with a brand. So, it’s beneficial to space the emails out over a set period of time and create each one with a specific intention.

A welcome series is a great way to keep potential customers engaged after they sign up. Especially since they receive emails from companies almost daily.

Some examples include: “Welcome! We hope you like our product” or “Your account has been activated.”

You can also send welcome emails to existing customers who haven’t logged in for a while.

For example, if someone signs up and doesn’t use the service for three months, you could send an email saying, “Hey, we noticed that you signed up recently. Would you be interested in using our service?”

This type of marketing is very effective because it’s personalized and targeted. It shows that you’re not sending out mass emails but rather ones specifically tailored to specific customers.

These emails are also a great way to help build trust with your customers and get them used to receiving emails from you.

4. Implement Automation

So now, you’ve done the work to craft an email series. Next, it’s time to automate their delivery, so you don’t have to send them out each time you need to, according to your schedule.

Automation in email marketing is easy to do using tools like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, and Convertkit.

These types of programs allow you to create automated emails based on triggers, such as when someone opens your email, clicks on a link, or purchases something from you.

This way, you no longer need to manually send out those emails, which can alleviate some stress when you’re dealing with a multitude of different subscribers.

5. Design Mobile-Friendly Emails

As I mentioned earlier, most people use their phones to check their emails, so making them mobile-friendly is crucial.

The email should be optimized for mobile phones if it promotes sales or discounts. For example, any sales information or product pictures should be easily viewed on their mobile device.

And users should be able to click on the promotion, link, or image and give them the option to view the brand’s site in their preferred browser on their phone.

The key elements to consider when designing mobile-friendly emails include:

  • Placing important links at the top of the page rather than down below.
  • Keeping graphics small.
  • Using text only where appropriate.
  • Optimizing images.
  • And testing different sizes of fonts and margins.

6. Personalize Your Emails

Even though the average person receives numerous unsolicited emails daily, sending personalized messages to potential leads is proven to boost response rates.

Personalizing your emails makes them feel less like spam. Plus, it gives your subscribers a sense of connection to you.

The key to successful email marketing is knowing exactly who you want to send emails and which messages resonate best with each group of recipients.

Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you can tailor your messages specifically to your audience and keep them coming back for more.

First, choose a subject line that clearly states what you will say in your email. This will help readers decide whether or not to click through your email.

Next, include a call to action, such as asking subscribers to check out a new product or sign up for a free trial.

Finally, customize each individual message by adding links to pages on your site where interested parties can read more information.

Get creative and do your research for the industry. For example, does adding emojis help to personalize the email, or is that a no-no for that specific industry?

7. A/B Test Email Content

The A/B testing of email content is a great way to improve your open rate. It’s also an excellent way to get more people on board with a product or service.

But it can be challenging to figure out what works best for you and your audience.

A/B testing helps marketers decide what works best for their business. For example, when designing email campaigns, it’s often necessary to split-test different versions of emails to determine which one performs better.

You can also test different subject lines. Subject lines are one of the most important parts of any email. They’ll help determine whether someone opens your message or not. It’s what hooks the subscriber to learn more.

The best way to test different variations of emails is to use A/B email testing software. This allows you to compare two versions side by side while showing only one version to half of your users at any given moment so that they don’t realize they’re receiving two different messages.

Most email automation platforms can also conduct A/B testing for your emails. And A/B testing isn’t just beneficial for email. For example, it’s important to test copy and content on a brand’s website, so A/B testing will come in handy in more ways than one.

8. Find The Best Timing

The best time to send emails to customers depends on several factors – such as when they last visited your website, what action they took while on your site, whether they completed any transactions, and more.

One way to determine which times work best for email campaigns is by using Google Analytics. You can use the Goal conversion section to view bounce rate, exit pages, and other data related to goal completion.

You should also consider other factors and incorporate them when you send emails based on people’s schedules. For example, you can see lower open rates on holidays, late into the evening, as well as Monday morning and Friday evenings.

9. Scrub Your List Of Non-Opens

It’s essential to manage your subscriber list. When you click “send” on your newsletter, your list contains all subscribers who did not open the email. If you see that certain people are ignoring all your emails, you might want to delete them from your list.

To delete them from your list, you need to go to the unsubscribe page, then select remove and confirm. This process may be repeated until all your non-opens are removed.

You don’t want to overload people who have already purchased or are no longer interested in the brand, so you don’t create a negative relationship with them.

Incorporating one of the email management tools to help you eliminate the consistent non-opens can help you manage your subscribers and decrease time spent on this repetitive task.

10. Include A Real Reply Email Address

This is one of the best ways to keep customers coming back for more. Users may want to send any follow-up emails directly to their spam folder if you don’t include an actual reply address.

But when you put your email address in the footer, they know exactly where to go. If a person has questions, they can email the brand’s team.

Again, this also helps build trust with the brand. They know they are communicating with real people who selected these emails for them versus being spammed with nonrelevant or generic content for the masses.

11. Experiment With Lead Generation Ads

The goal of lead generation ads is to reach people who may be interested in buying from the brand.

They usually appear at the top of the page, where they are visible for longer periods of time than other types of ads.

This means people tend to click on them more often than ads below the fold. So, as long as you don’t use these ads too frequently, you should be able to generate leads.

12. Utilize Email Analytics To Improve Campaigns

One way to utilize email analytics to improve campaigns is to check the bounce rate, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes for your emails. Then use that information to enhance your current efforts.

This includes sending emails at different times throughout the week, testing subject lines, changing up the call to action, and testing creative variations.

If you’re still struggling, try experimenting with lead magnets, such as free ebooks, white papers, and webinars.

These allow you to capture leads from those interested in learning about new topics. In addition, measuring results lets you know which emails work and which ones don’t.

You should also compare these variables (such as open rates) to industry metrics. For example, what’s the percentage of bounce rates for the industry you’re working with?

If you aren’t measuring results, you won’t have much data to base future decisions for your next email marketing campaign.

Final Takeaways

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to promote your online store, build relationships with customers, and generate sales.

The final step in this process is to put all these pieces together into an effective strategy. This means coming up with creative and effective ways to construct emails and email series.

It also means being able to measure the results of each tactic so that you can continue to improve your efforts going forward.

Leveraging email metrics and incorporating A/B testing can help build relationships with subscribers by presenting them with the information they want to read.

With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can use email marketing to increase a brand’s sales and help create long-term customers.

More Resources:


Featured Image: 13_Phunkod/Shutterstock

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